PC POWER SUPPLY. ACEC KOMNA
How PC Power Supplies Work
If there is any one component that is absolutely vital to the operation of a computer, it isthe power supply. Without it, a computer is just an inert box full of plastic and metal. Thepower supply converts the alternating current (AC) line from your home to the directcurrent (DC) needed by the personal computer. In this article, we'll learn how PC powersupplies work and what the wattage ratings meanPowerSupplyIn a personal computer (PC), the power supply is the metal box usually found in a cornerof the case. The power supply is visible from the back of many systems because it containsthe power-cord receptacle and the cooling fan.This is a power supply removed from its PC case. Thesmall, red switch at right, above the power-cordconnector, is for changing line voltages in variouscountries.The interior of a power supply.Power supplies, often referred to as "switching power supplies", use switcher technology toconvert the AC input to lower DC voltages. The typical voltages supplied are:
12 voltsThe 3.3- and 5-volts are typically used by digital circuits, while the 12-volt is used to runmotors indisk drivesand fans. The main specification of a power supply is in watts. A wattis the product of the voltage in volts and the current in amperes or amps. If you have beenaround PCs for many years, you probably remember that the original PCs had large redtoggle switches that had a good bit of heft to them. When you turned the PC on or off, youknew you were doing it. These switches actually controlled the flow of 120 volt power tothe power supply.Today you turn on the power with a little push button, and you turn off the machine with amenu option. These capabilities were added to standard power supplies several years ago.The operating system can send a signal to the power supply to tell it to turn off. The pushbutton sends a 5-volt signal to the power supply to tell it when to turn on. The powersupply also has a circuit that supplies 5 volts, called VSB for "standby voltage" even whenit is officially "off", so that the button will work.Switcher TechnologyPrior to 1980 or so, power supplies tended to be heavy and bulky. They used large, heavytransformers and huge capacitors (some as large as soda cans) to convert line voltage at120 volts and 60 hertz into 5 volts and 12 volts DC.